Montgomery County Commissioners, 2011 General Election
Montgomery County Commissioners Race Preview
Like their Bucks County neighbors, the Montgomery County Commissioners race is likely to be among the closest in Pennsylvania. County Commissioners serve four year terms and all three seats are up for grabs this fall. One seat must go to a minority party candidate.
The election follows one of the most contentious eras in Montgomery County politics. In 2007, former Montgomery County District Attorney Bruce Castor joined three-term incumbent James Matthews (brother of TV cable host Chris) as the two Republican County Commissioners. Lawyer Joe Hoeffel, a veteran of local and statewide PA politics, won the Democratic seat. In a surprise move, Hoeffel and Matthews decided to name Matthews the Chairman of the Commissioners and to work together in the name of bipartisan government. An infuriated Castor has battled his fellow Commissioners for the last several years.
Fallout after accusations that Hoeffel and Matthews possibly violated the Sunshine Act by meeting for breakfast without Castor led the two Commissioners not to seek reelection in 2011. Castor is seeking a second term and is joined on the GOP ballot by Jenny Brown, an attorney who is a current Lower Merion Township Commissioner.
The Democratic candidates are Josh Shapiro, a current State Representative from Abington, and Leslie Richards, a Senior Project Manager at ACT Engineers, Inc. and current Whitemarsh Township Supervisor. Democrats have never held a majority on the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners, but have gained more votes in recent elections. Democrats now outnumber Republicans in registered voters 45 percent to 40 percent.
Official Montgomery County Commissioner Candidates for the November 8th General Election
Bruce Castor - (R) Winner (Unofficial)
Current Job: Montgomery County Commissioner since 2008
Background: Attorney, Blue Bell firm of Elliot Greenleaf
District Attorney of Montgomery County 2000-2008
Hometown: Lower Salford Township, Montgomery County
Jenny Brown - (R)
Current Job: Lower Merion Township Commissioner since 2006
Background: Attorney, The Bridgeport firm of Brown & Silbergeld since 1996
Co-Vice Chair, Intergovernmental Relations Committee, Lower Merion Township
Hometown: Lower Merion Township, Montgomery County
Josh Shapiro - (D) Winner (Unofficial)
Current Job: State Representative, 153rd Legislative District in Montgomery County since 2004
Background: Senior Aide on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. 1995-2003
Member of the Pennsylvania Bar
Hometown: Abington Township, Montgomery County
Leslie Richards - (D) Winner (Unofficial)
Current Job: Board Supervisor, Whitemarsh Township since 2008
Background: Regional Planner and Senior Project Manager, ACT Engineers, Inc.
Member, Society of Women Environmental Professionals
Hometown: Whitemarsh Township, Montgomery County